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How I’m Packing for Long Photography Days
Plus a brand new contest for November!
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Earlier this year, I talked about how I pack my luggage for street photography overseas. I went on to discuss what I carry with me during a photo walk, where I’ll go with no bag for short walks or a backpack for longer walks. Well, I’ve had change that up recently.
I’ve been spending a lot time on the road balancing assignments and personal work so I had to find a new solution to carry 2-3 bodies—along with some key accessories—while keeping the entire profile more nimble than a backpack. I took a bet on a recent Kickstarter and it turned out to be pretty great. This new sling makes for a great companion where it’s large enough to fit what I need, but not so big that it shouts, “Hello humans! I’m here to take some photographs!” Please read that in quote in the nerdiest voice possible for emphasis.
This week, I’m gonna share with you the new bag I’ve been enjoying for heavy photo days out here in India, and how I’ve outfitted it for the work that I do.
When I’m on these assignments, I’m usually out for 6 hours a day circling a particular area over and over again. Lately, I've grown accustomed to bringing 3 bodies for my style of work. And yea, I know that sounds excessive to some but the reality is I just don’t enjoy changing lenses in the field.
I’ll always look to keep one camera in my hands, which is typically my Leica M11 with a 21mm or 28mm lens. If I see a particular detail or something in more challenging light, I’ll sling one camera over the shoulder bring out the second M camera with a 35mm or 50mm F1.4 lens. And should there be the time and opportunity for an environmental portrait of someone, I’ll sling that first camera and bring out my third body with an even tighter lens (70-90mm) to tell that story. During this trip, it’s been the Hasselblad X2D.
Is this a realistic solution for most people? Nope. Most people will be more than okay with just one body and one lens. Inspired by some of my favourite photojournalists, I’ve put this kit together to make it easy to move between different perspectives in the field at the cost of some extra weight. Now, let’s look at the other pieces that round out this carry.
The big change for me has been this new sling bag from Clever Supply. It’s keeps a pretty low-profile, fits all the necessities, and doesn’t scream, “camera bag!” After a few months of travelling, these are the smaller pieces I’ll include for most days:
Visoflex 2: Leica EVF for tougher situations
SD Cards: rather swap in the field than format
Blower: telling dust to f*ck off
Cleaning Solution and Cloth: telling smudges to f*ck off
Anker MagSafe: little more charge
USB-C Cable: charging or file transfer in the field
Notebook & Pen: putting pen to paper when it matters
All of this fits in a sling bag and it’s what I pack for most of my days in the field. My mornings start at 6am and usually go til noon before stopping for a lunch. In some instances, I’ll also pack an 11” iPad Pro—which fits perfectly in it’s own slot—for when I plan to get some creative work done at a cafe.
I should also mention that this is the average and not the rule. Some days, I'll leave the third body and pack some lighting tools. If it’s a more casual session, I’ll leave the bag entirely and just take one body and one lens. What I pack is based on the light that’ll be available and how long I’ll be out.
What I like about this kit is that it’s noticeably smaller and more discrete than my favourite backpack solution but still holds quite a bit of gear when the environment demands it. I’m currently in India putting this system to work and haven’t felt a need to return to my backpack. It’s been doing so well I was like f*ck it, let me share it with you as well. With that being said, if you spend a lot of time travelling with photography gear for your work, I’d love to hear how you pack for the day. Let me know in the comments below.
New Contest for November!
Each month, I run a contest for the Church & Street community and try to feature something that I think people will appreciate.
For November, I’ll be giving away the Moment Strohl Moutain Light Backpack. For those that find themselves outdoors a lot and need the ability to pack a wide variety of essentials, this is a backpack to keep on your shortlist.
How am I picking the winner? All you have to do is be a member of this community and leave a comment on this post. As with every contest, I’ll be randomly picking one person, confirming they meet the requirements and then contacting them directly before announcing the winner publicly.
Once again, this contest is void where prohibited by law. Good luck!
My thanks to the team at Moment! Not only for this contest but for being the longest supporter of my work online. They’re a lean team of passionate creators that truly believe in supporting other creators on their journey. Whether it’s a new camera, lens, workshop, or just some great articles, visit ShopMoment.com today.
Reader Question: Is it okay to use my phone for photography or should I get a dedicated camera?
It’s more than okay to use your phone for photography. There are so many pros that have built entire careers off of photography from a mobile phone. If you’re in that place of deciding whether you want to get a dedicated camera or not, I would say keep using your phone while saving up for a camera for the future. Focus on honing your craft and specifying exactly how a camera can make your work better.
With enough practice, you should hit a ceiling with your phone and a new camera will be necessary for more growth. Or, you may just be content with a phone as your camera and surprise, you have a stash of savings set aside for an amazing photography adventure. However you go, just make sure you enjoy the journey.
I’m back in Kolkata for the second time this year and I can’t get enough of this city. I’ll be heading back to Chennai next week and hoping to shoot at least one dope editorial specifically for this community. I’m putting it out here now almost like a contract to hold my ass accountable, haha.
Anyway! That’s enough for this week. See ya next time.
Thanks for reading Church & Street. Be sure to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments and if you really enjoyed this post, share it with your circle ✊🏾